The third annual People En Espanol music, culture, and arts fair begins this afternoon with events happening all over the city, 1200 WOAI news reports.
Sponsored by the Spanish-language version of People Magazine and Target, the fair, which is modeled after the highly successful Essence Festival of African American culture in New Orleans, will be a combination of music, comedy performances, serious discussions, and events tailored to the Latino culture in the United States and Latin America.
Singer Gloria Estefan will begin the festival with a reunion with retired elementary school teacher Dorothy Collins, who was her teacher at Winston Elementary School back in the mid 1960s. Many of the People En Espanol cultural events include the importance of staying in school and going to college.
HBO Latino boxer Sergio Martinez will be among those who will be discussing bullying at Lanier High School today.
Chris Perez, prominent Tejano music guitarist and the husband of murdered singer Selena, says Festival in Espanol is a major event.
"Just to be able to pull this festival off, I don't remember anything like this ever happening," he said.
Events will take place through Labor Day at locations across the city, but most of the events will be centered at the Alamodome and the Convention Center.
"San Antonio really holds a special place in my heart,' Perez said about the city's central role in the event. "I was born here, raised here, lived here for most of my life."
The festival is also a marketing gold mine for companies eager to reach the fast growing, and young, Latino market. In addition to name sponsor Target, some of the companies which will have a major presence at the festival include Coca Cola, Jeep, Chrysler, MundoFox, and Disney Junior.
In addition to performances by some of the leading Latino and cross over artists, including Emilo Estafan, Demi Lovato, and 11 year old National Anthem singing Mariachi Sebastien De la Cruz, there will be a tribute to La Diva de Banda, American born singer Jenni Rivera, who was killed last year in a plane crash in Mexico.
As many as 100,000 people are expected to attend.